National Guard Withdraws From L.A.

CALIFORNIA Gov. Pete Wilson ordered nearly all of the remaining 3,000 National Guard soldiers to pull out of Los Angeles on Sunday after they helped quell the nation's worst urban riots this century.

"We've seen the situation in Los Angeles remain stable to the point where the governor, in agreement with local officials, feels the Guard can be withdrawn immediately," said the governor's spokesman, James Lee.

Governor Wilson's announcement followed a wave of gang violence in Los Angeles' riot-scarred South-Central neighborhoods which left five suspected gang members dead and more than a half-dozen wounded in a series of shootings.

Police were concerned about the sudden surge in gang warfare but said it appeared unrelated to the racial violence that erupted April 29 after the acquittal of four white policemen in the beating of black motorist Rodney King.

Wilson's order marked the final phase of the National Guard pullout from Los Angeles. He said a "ready-response" unit would remain on standby.

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